Looking for some sample letters any sponsored racers used to gain sponsorship for products and services. I will be club racing next year. Trying to get a head start. What are some good time lines or deadlines to adhere to?
There are many ways to go about getting sponsorship support in roadracing. However, the good ones all require previous experience and only sponsor certain classes in certain series. For instance, some companies wouldn't give sponsorship for local series, but would for regional. So thats the first big hurtle to jump over if this is your first year of racing. You may be able to score some discounts, but actual sponsorship without having a buddy-buddy hookup, is much harder.
The critical deadline is usually the last week of September or early October. This is when everyone has their sponsorships ready for the following season. You need a web site with a blog, documenting your racing, a Facebook page to promote the racing as well. Your letter will explain a bit about yourself and how you plan on promoting the products, whether its simply still pictures of your bike and trophies or a video discussing the products, however you wish to do it. Usually all you need to do is apply with the company via e-mail (they send you an application form) with an attached letter, is all you need. Companies will get back to you before October for the following season. Most companies will give you a discount if your story is good, others may toss you some free product, but that depends on results and speed as the season goes on. You have to be very out-going and follow up, everyone wants free shit, you need to make them believe you're the best option.
Motorsports racing has another behind the scenes game going on, which a lot of people are unaware of; Contingency. The contingency system is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes to roadracing. A dedicated roadracer, capable of being on the podium in every event they enter, can generally get enough contingency to cover their next months races, if done properly. This means, an initial investment is all they need to continue racing for the rest of the year, barring injury and travel expenses. For instance, Brake Tech will give you $50 bux, Pirelli $100, VP fuels $25 and Leo Vince $50 per 3rd place podium! So thats $225 dollars into your pot for ONE race. Imagine if you do 4 races a weekend and your on the podium for 2 or 3 of them? All of a sudden, your cost of racing goes down substantially. So in my opinion, contingency is the key to being a successful racer because it forces you to do well since the results have a meaning outside of a plastic trophy.
Anyway, every series has a different contingency bracket and some series like WERA have very little contingency at all. When I raced, the series paid us cash for our race results in certain classes, so I focused on those classes ONLY. One weekend I earned about $600 in contingency and cash. It paid for my entire following race weekend PLUS I had some left over for the weekend after.
Here are the companies I'd pursue, who I had luck with in the past.
Unfortunately, very few people will give contingency for novices and only minimal support is available for people without an expert license. So don't get to bent out of shape if you don't get much from these guys. However, its worth the e-mail and maybe you'll get some discounts, anything is better then nothing!
Tye, I should have worded differently. I don't seek sponsorship. I am seeking discounts lol. This year I had a few deals through a race team however I was unable to race. So I am at least going to pursue those companies. Currently I have speed mob, woodcraft, sharkskinz, and spiegler. Speed mob and spiegler offer discounts through them for many other companies. I will definitely look at some of these companies that you have listed. CCS offers contingency for 3 of my 4 classes assuming there is enough in the grid. I doubt I'll be speedy enough to garnish those types of results though.
CCS is a great series, I'm jealeous because it's exactly what roadracing should be. Good classes, contingency and lots of regional races each year. So that's a really good start to your roadracing life. We don't have anything like that out here anymore, unless you've got a camper and are willing to drive hundreds of miles each way to race.
Check out the guys I mentioned and go from there. From my perspective the most important part is getting your normal expenses covered. So finding sponsors to help with day to day operations is the critical element. If you do a good job promoting, you can get it.
If you don't have racing history to show them. It's very hard to get sponsorships. Most entry level sponsorship is only a % discount on items. Run our sticker and get a discount. As you start to show some good results. The level of discount grows. Your best bet is to send your info to companies you already have a history with. Local shops you buy from or companies you use for gear/ tires and parts.
I only raced a few years( hare scrambles and enduros). Never really looked for sponsor, but I got a local shop to give me a discount on everything I bought from them. I had history with the shop and was running their stickers before I started racing. My mentor was a A/AA rider with many years as a top10 district and most of his sponsorships were discounts only. He didn't start getting free stuff until after he came back from I.S.D.E. with a silver medal.
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